Daily news reports inundate the public with a lot of the the-sky-is-falling rhetoric about Americans’ weight and health. And day after day, the Center for Consumer Freedom fights tirelessly to balance that hype with a healthy dose of facts and common sense. Today, the Chicago Tribune featured CCF’s evenhanded point of view on a very unbalanced topic, menu-labeling mandates:
Though nutrition activists claim that the hotly-contested ordinance would prevent consumers from gaining millions of pounds each year, they’ve never checked to see if covering menus with calorie-counts actually influences consumers to eat less. No one has.
While the justification for menu-mandates rests squarely on assumption, a growing body of evidence casts doubt on their merit. Researchers at Cornell University found that posted nutrition facts spurred people to eat 131 percent more calories than when they dined free of calorie tallies. Executive director of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Brain Wansink, even suggested that menu labeling would actually “discourage diners from trying to eat healthy.”